Vintage Cocktails: Inspiration Can be Found in Many Places

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I purchased this book, Vintage Cocktails, for my husband for Christmas. Looking through the pages, I am reminded of my struggle to cultivate a design style that insinuates flexibility and play. The rough nature of these drink recipes say “Hey, you can do it this way but no worries. Have fun!” It is as if they are scribbled down ideas that are open to interpretation.

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This book both validates my current icon direction and encourages me to further explore the space of graphical incompleteness leading to user experimentation. The concept also reminds me of (my favorite book!) Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics. McCloud describes the balance between providing content and allowing the reader to make the mental leap, filling in the gaps between frames.

Feeling ownership in the midst of graphical incompleteness allows participants to embody the ideas because they are presented in a way that provokes them to fill in gaps. There is a narrow territory of liminal space where the design is robust enough to be trusted as authoritative and worthwhile but not so prescriptive.

“Participation is a powerful force in any medium. Filmmakers long ago realized the importance of allowing viewers to use their imagination. The unfinished aesthetic creates the space for users to feel comfortable with their freedom to add, play and experiment” (Mccloud, 1994, p. 69).

These two books provide great reference for further visual exploration.

JournalKaren Whistler